Senate approves unanimously resolution to counter US –Afghan policy

Islamabad: The Senate on Monday unanimously passed a resolution recommending the government to launch a regional diplomatic initiative to coordinate responses to US President Donald Trump’s new Afghan policy, which have no respect for Pakistan’s anti-terrorism efforts, Radio Pakistan reported.

The resolution, suggests Pakistan’s Foreign Office to convey pakistan’s viewpoint to both friendly as well as US allies in a befitting manner. US ambassador should be called to the Foreign Office and handed over the parliamentary proceedings on the issue, the resolution said.

The Senate has suggested that the government should prepare a fact sheet on American assistance to Pakistan in order to clear the air on how much reimbursements have actually been received under the Coalition Support Fund.
The fact sheet should also take account of US failure to supply military hardware and aid on one pretext or the other and the losses incurred by Pakistan since the US war in Afghanistan, the resolution states.

Suggestions for immediate steps

• The Foreign Office should summon the US ambassador and convey Pakistan’s concerns, highlighted in Senate, regarding Trump’s new policy.
• A fact sheet of Pakistan’s contributions in the ‘war against terror’ should be presented to the US when the foreign minister visits the country.
• A fact sheet of the US’s assistance to Pakistan should be immediately released, “portraying the post 9/11 scenario as to how much assistance has been provided for the Coalition Support Funds, which are in fact reimbursements to Pakistan.”

Steps to be taken by Pakistan

While discussing steps that need to be taken by Pakistan, the Senate’s recommendations suggest that a national policy paper should be created while keeping all stakeholders in mind, “to serve as a [reference] document for US policymakers.”

It has also been suggested that a “regional diplomatic initiative” should be launched so that Pakistan’s response to the US’s Afghan policy can be presented after “consultation with friendly countries.”

“Pakistan should form a South Asia strategy that should be comprehensive,” the resolution recommends.
Recommendations for security establishment

The resolution also wants the security establishment to take note of the United States’ plan to increase the number of its troops in Afghanistan and maintain their presence for an indefinite period.

Regarding Pakistan’s policy about Afghanistan, the resolution suggests that Pakistan should emphasise that no territory should be used against a neighbouring state and call for a focus on border management and security along the border.
The resolution also stresses the need for a mutually acceptable verification mechanism to look into acrimonious allegations of cross-border violations that emanate from both Kabul and Islamabad.

The resolution also wants the government to effectively highlight Indian interference in Pakistan and turn the spotlight on militants like Moulvi Fazlullah and others, who are hiding in Afghanistan and operating against Pakistan.
Similar allegations by Afghanistan need to be looked into more closely, the resolution states.

Strong opposition to Trump’s policy

The resolution rejects Trump’s remarks as “one-sided” and points out that the US president put the entire blame on Pakistan while ignoring its legitimate concerns.
The entire house, which converted itself into a Whole Committee, created the resolution based on policy guidelines proposed by a six-member subcommittee. The Senate chairman said that the house had come up with the recommendations after discussions with the Ministries of Defense and Interior.

The resolution will now be sent to the National Assembly, which is likely to adopt it on the same lines.

After the resolution was accepted, the Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani ordered that the recommendations also be forwarded to all Pakistani embassies around the world.

“It has been proven yet again that the Senate comes together proactively when it comes to matters of national security,” he observed.


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